Ginnie Mae once more extends issuer COVID reduction compliance

Ginnie Mae again extended pandemic relief measures put in place to ease the burden on issuers when it comes to staying above delinquency thresholds as well as for reporting requirements.

“In order to continue protecting the healthy functioning of the housing finance market as the impact of COVID-19 lingers, issuers still need these prudent flexibilities to help manage persistent operational challenges,” Ginnie Mae President Alanna McCargo said in a press release.

The end of temporary relief for issuers from Ginnie Mae’s acceptable delinquency threshold was pushed out to Jan. 31, 2023, covering the December 2022 investor reporting cycle. A previous extension was set to expire on July 31.

It covers issuers that were compliant with the thresholds according to their April 2020 report that covered the prior month’s activity.

A total of 234,000 Federal Housing Administration-insured and Veterans Affairs-guaranteed mortgages were still in active forbearance as of May 17, according to Black Knight. This is 1.9% of these loans outstanding with a total unpaid principal balance of $41 billion.

At the end of the first quarter, the FHA delinquency rate of 9.58% was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The delinquency rate for VA mortgages of 4.86% was its lowest in two years.

In addition, Ginnie Mae is continuing to relax audit requirements for issuers.

“Ginnie Mae recognizes that, due to the COVID-19 national emergency, independent auditors may not be able to perform certain document custodian review audit activities for the fiscal year ending on or before Sept. 30 that require physical inspection and observation,” the memorandum said.

An independent auditor instead can rely on “alternative procedures to meet the issuer’s document custodian annual audited financial statement.”

Issuers whose fiscal years end after Sept. 30 were warned by Ginnie Mae that “the temporary flexibilities extended in this APM are expected to be discontinued as soon as practicable.”

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